Pregnancy is Hard

I am pretty sure I don’t need to tell anyone that. It’s obvious, right? What the wonderful, strong Mother has to go through is amazing. Yet they do it. Often, time and time again. My wife is working on our first right now and I know she’s finding it tough but you know what? She’s not complaining. Yes she lets me know what’s going on, but not once has she complained about it, rather than just let me know so I can hopefully tell her it’s ok, I understand or at the very least not try and find a solution (this is hard, too). She’s awesome.

husband_dad.jpg

That’s a nice way to look at it 🙂 – now, earn that promotion!

I’m going to say something perhaps a little provocative now. Pregnancy is hard for the Dad, too. Yes, that’s right. It is. It really is. Not Mother-hard of course, that would be a clear lie. But in its own way it is hard. The Dad can’t really help with any of the pregnancy. Yes we can buy stuff, cook food, research travel systems and bigger fridges but we can’t actually turn ourselves into a little human factory. Arnold Schwarzenegger once did but I think that was fiction.

What’s hard about it from a Dad’s perspective is that we see what brilliant things the Mother is doing, often with quite a penalty (painful legs, unfitting wardrobe, lack of sleep, extreme tiredness, morning sickness, emotional ups and downs and so on), but can only nod and listen attentively. It’s hard seeing all that.

junior.jpg

Such a weird film now you look back on it.

What you both need to remind each other is that it’s worth it. There’s a reason why we walked knowingly into this and it’s getting closer. One last point too – enjoy the pregnancy. It’s not something either of you will experience that often in life so remember the good days, the fun bits – the quickening or the day it really is obvious bump has arrived. Make the hard pregnancy as easy as you can.

P.S. It might be hard, but it’s awesome 🙂

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Frustration City!

When I started this blog it was with the intent to share my knowledge and learning as I become a Dad. I know/knew nothing and need/needed to; in time perhaps someone else will benefit from the work I’ve done/am doing.

As I got through a few posts I realised this was also a great way to talk about things without talking about them. Not that I didn’t want to, and of course I do, but breaking the ice by saying things here makes it easier in other ways. In fact, this might have been the reason I started with the education a result of that.

rump

Not the Crown Rump but still mighty fine

Anyway, I have some stuff to talk about in detail. I need to understand them fully first though. Harmony, Nifty, combined and quadruple. We’ll get to those. Continued morning sickness. I also have to talk about our 12 week scan today (precis- everything was as the clinical professional would have expected to see; CRL, or Crown Rump Length was around 74/75 mm!), but I need to talk about the multiple conversations with the folks. My folks, specifically.

You see, I’d been told in no uncertain terms to ring my Mum as soon as the scan was done. We told them a few weeks back as we saw them in person, but no-one else. I think my Mum really wants to talk to other people about it. Anyway, the conversation didn’t go so well. Later on my Dad called. That went rather less well in hindsight. Just about got it off the top of my mind by now, but it’s still there.

Obama_DealWithIt

Yeah, we will Mr President. Just give us tonight.

So frustrating. Everything they say is with the right intent. But it fails to recognise what we’re saying, thinking or feeling. It’s unhelpful as we want everyone to be happy and understanding. Gah. It’ll be fine on the morrow but right now it’s just frustrating.

Travelling With Work

I used to look forward to this. Get away from the usual grind at the office, visit new places, eat the local cuisine (steak with red wine, ideally) and so on. It was great, or at least seemed so and therefore I made the most of it given I was having to do it anyway.

Tomorrow I go away for much of the week to Germany with work. Now, aside from the fact I forgot that I’d be in Germany when Liverpool FC is, and therefore couldn’t get hold of any tickets for when they play BVB 09 in the Europa league as I was too late (drat), this trip is not one I’m looking forward to in the same way I used to.

fantasy

The fantasy.

Quite frankly it’s because life has changed, priorities are changing and my wife is around 12 weeks pregnant. I don’t really want to leave her alone. She’s still getting nauseous, struggling with energy levels and so on. But we spoke about this trip before I committed, and it should benefit me in a new assignment I am starting soon at work. So it makes sense to go. But I don’t want to like I used to want to.

What we did do though is make sure our NHS “12 week” scan is happening after I get back. A week tomorrow in fact. Now that’s something to look forward to. Make the most of this week which is happening. Prepare things for my wife’s few days home (shopping done and tomorrow’s dinner cooked already). Get back, enjoy the weekend and get ready for the scan. It’s one of the big ones.

reality

The reality.

Limbo

My wife said to me today that she looks forward to any of my posts here and specifically chooses to keep them until morning so she has something to look forward to as she starts each day. Only I don’t post every day, alas. I’d like to, but I need something to actually say rather than just waffling for a few hundred words!

amazing_hoff

Did you know the Hoff is the reason the Berlin Wall came down? We’re doing the limbo dance Sir.

Now is an odd time to be honest. We’ve told our parents which is great. We’re waiting for a scheduled 12 week scan which is also great. But given our history – 4 years wanting to have children and a miscarriage – we can’t really get too excited about things, nor can we start doing things for the baby’s arrival, as opposed to just doing things (like those damned internal doors we need!).

So what can we do? Keep on moving I guess. Stiff upper lip and all that. We can keep doing what we are doing. Feeling excited, tempering it and looking forward to that scan. And worrying about it. Then we can tell people, worry about the 20 week scan and so on. Basically, it’s all a worry from here, right?

office

Memes are great. But to be fair, this isn’t why we’ll move the office, it’s because it’s in the future child’s (hopefully) bedroom right now!

I jest in part. I seriously think that come 12 weeks, if all is good – a big IF – then we can start to look forward and prepare. That means office moves, baby-names, doors go go go and more. This excites me. It might also mean my wife gets over the sickness part of things. I do hope so, for her sake.

Mothers, sons and lots more besides

Tomorrow is the day we visit my folks for a lovely meal which we have been invited to enjoy since it’s a long weekend (as long as my wife feels better than today which has definitely been one of her bad days morning sickness-wise).

Therefore we also tell them we’re pregnant.

This is a good, exciting, and slightly nervous thing. It’s good as telling people is nice to be able to do. It’s still too early to tell most people, but it’s still nice. It’s good because such news should be shared with family as it’s all good. But it’s mainly good because I think I cheesed my Mother off somewhat yesterday.

sine

My wife’s morning sickness is like a Sine curve. A few days OK, perhaps even good, and then a few nowhere near good in anyway.

I was trying to be good. I wanted to check what was to be prepared to eat in case it had alcohol in it. I used the excuse that my wife is on an exclusion diet. She has been on some before so it was a good idea. But of course I rang and asked this just after the weekend shop had been completed. It was good I did as red wine sauce was on the menu, and now won’t be. But still.

I also learnt that Bakewell tart was the dessert of choice. Something I have never eaten but which in the last 5 or so years has become my Mother’s de facto dessert of choice because she believes I love it. Every time I say no; each time it’s prepared. I mentioned I didn’t like it this time. Didn’t go down well.

bakewell

Never was this in the house at any point between the time I was aged zero and 18.

Still, all being well we get to share our news tomorrow. And that will help explain the annoyance. Then maybe it won’t be one, and we can focus on the good news and hoping all goes well?

8+ Weeks and Counting

We are somewhere between eight and nine weeks’ pregnant now. This is exciting and nerve-wracking given we’ve:

  • Never done this before
  • Had problems before
  • Know we need to at least get to 12 weeks before we’ll find it real

But we have some things to think about in the coming weeks. My wife’s parents are visiting us soon and they’ve told us they don’t want us to cook on the day of their arrival, rather they’ll take us out for dinner or we can grab some takeaway. Now, the problem, is that my wife is still struggling with food. She doesn’t really want anything and when she eats it can vary as to how much she gets through and what specifically on her plate she can get through.

miliband

Eating this bacon sandwich was awkward for the – at the time – leader of the opposition. Imagine how awkward any meal in a restaurant at this time could be?

 

This is not exactly the situation to be in when going out for a lovely meal. Equally the only takeaway option that folks would all want (normally) is Chinese and this is not something that in anyway excites my wife’s taste buds right now.

So – what do we do? One option is to go for the takeaway, get some standard rice and prawn crackers and hope no-one notices the lack of main dish chow-down. Another is to tell them, early. Oo-er.

parents

Yeah, until I looked for pictures for this article I hadn’t even considered how to tell parents they’ll hopefully be grandparents. Oh.

Similarly we’ve been invited to my folk’s for dinner towards the end of March. Again, this will be a little earlier than normal for telling people BUT we need to make sure the food is suitable. Choices, choices. If you have any clever suggestions do please let me know – otherwise we’re just gonna have to bite the bullet and do one of the above!

Meal Time Continued

So, eating when pregnant is still hard. Cooking when your wife is pregnant is getting easier. The trick? Accept at face value the phrase: “I’ll eat whatever is put in front of me”.

It’s got to be done quite frankly. This is my advice to any potential Dad. You see, if you push too hard to find something she does want you run the risk of the following:

google

An invaluable life lesson, applied well here

  1. Making her feel unwell
  2. Making her unwell
  3. Making her annoyed at your constant silly questioning
  4. A combination of the above

So just get on with it. Cook something that’s normally eaten and hope it goes down well. Try not to make it bloody, and do try and make it simple. If you can, make it nice and easy to wash up afterwards too. That’s a personal tip, from me to you. You know why? Because no-one wants to do washing up and here, when you have a bit of a pass, make the most of it. You won’t be able to afford a dishwasher anytime soon and it’s unlikely your offspring will be up to the job for quite some time.

washingup

Look at how happy this man is to be washing up. It’s because he just managed to cook something his wife was able to eat. Yay! Go hubby!

 

 

Meal Time

Eating when pregnant is hard. Cooking for a pregnant person is hard.

This is what I have learnt recently. I mean, I knew that pregnant women are advised not to eat certain foods and I had enough nous to think that morning sickness would make things interesting too.

dinnertime

These little guys have no issue eating!

For the last 3-4 weeks my wife hasn’t enjoyed an evening meal aside from last night. She hasn’t really enjoyed any other meal, either. It’s not great fun for her, but it also makes prepping for meals rather difficult.

For instance, we try to plan main meals to enable a weekly shop. This is hard as when feeling ill it’s hard to think about eating and when eating if you’re feeling ill it doesn’t really matter whether the food put in front of you is your favourite or your worst.

lamb

Our lamb was nothing like this but still, it doesn’t look appetising, does it?

Certain foods are limited from our menu, like steak or lamb, because they’re designed to be rare and although you can char them to pieces it kinda detracts. We just found this out the hard way when I cooked lamb and neither of us had registered this beforehand. Cue extra cooking time and reheated potato and vegetables!

Still, I do get her fed. That’s the key thing.

That ‘morning’ sickness again

So my wife’s been feeling ok for a few days to be honest. It’s been great. She’s been able to get on with all the life things, you know, like work, but still feeling something which keeps the confidence in her mind – and mine – that all is going as it should.

But today she has gone from OK to bleurgh in 4 hours. Is it awful bleurgh? Feels it. We’ll see overnight. Bottom line is that she’s asked for a chair near the bathroom for when she wakes up tonight and she wanted toast before bed. In bed. Where crumbs are possible.

crumbs

I provided toast but did suggest any crumbs in the marital bed would be, well, a problem. A big one, really.